Human Nature

Right Conduct, and the Future of Human Nature

Is the evolution of human nature
toward a brighter future
from brutish, short lives,
and from social disease and crimes
such as slavery and child labor?

An unchanging human nature
in the face of our rapid advances in science and technology
seems naive and unreal, in view of history and evolution
and particularly in view of our personal experience of change.

The emotional life of animals within families,
while similar to our own, lacks the increasing refinements
of human learning and intellectual life
that improves successive generations, at least in material terms.

A monastic chant, from Zen Buddhism, is
"all my ancient wrong actions
arising from beginningless greed, anger, and ignorance
born by body, speech, and mind
I now fully avow".

Past mistakes, and history,
include all too many situations and actions tinged
with woeful immaturity and selfish emotions
(but does that recognition imply we will get better)?

It may be, as in The Purpose of Life,
that we will grow up to embrace all beings as one.
The paradox of an unchanging human nature, including suffering,
with a rosier future, implies Buddha's noble truths.

The Heart of Buddha's Teachings

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